Treat yourself to a ghoulish getaway this Halloween
With goblins and ghosts back in season once more, Ireland is full of sensational, Spooktacular breaks, says Lucinda O'Sullivan
We're coming towards the end of Fall, as our American cousins would say, and with the midterm break and Halloween approaching rapidly, it's the perfect time for enjoying some of the great breaks on offer, before we face into the manic lead up to Christmas.
Indeed, you can come to Dublin and incorporate some of that Christmas shopping as well. So, here's my no frills round up of countrywide 'spooktacular spectaculars'! Please note, unless otherwise stated, 2 + 2 refers to 2 adults and 2 children u' 12 years old sharing a family room.
From the 25th October-1st November, The Gibson Hotel at the Point has a great 1BB night room rate of €130 for 2 adults, but up to 2 children can share the room and eat breakfast for free. Pay €69 extra and you can also have dinner for 2 adults and 2 children in their Coda Restaurant. thegibsonhotel.ie. In Killiney, at Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, they have a 3BB1D for 2 + 2 from €510, including a one day family zoo pass or entrance into the historic Wicklow Gaol. fitzpatrickcastle.com
Bellinter House in Co. Meath has a 1BBD Halloween Thriller package from €110pps, to include Halloween Afternoon tea on arrival. bellinterhouse.com. In Co. Kildare, The K Club has a 2BB1D package from €280 per adult sharing - children under six eat for free. There will be a kids club and, on Halloween night, a supervised trick or treating Witches Walk around the resort. kclub.ie. In Tullow, Co. Carlow, at Mount Wolseley, they have a family package with 2BB plus 1 table d'hote dinner for the adults and 1 Mad Hatters Tea Party for the children, from €308. mountwolseley.ie.
In Co. Waterford, Faithlegg House & Golf Resort has Midterm Break 2BB1D midweek packages from €139pps. Children 4-12 accommodated on a BB basis only at €15 per child, per night. Prior booking essential. faithlegg.com. In East Cork, at the fab 5 Star Castlemartyr Resort, they have a 2BB1D Deluxe Family Break for 2 + 1 at €470 which includes a family pass to Fota Wildlife Park. Their 'Top Dogs & Little Paws' Kids Club will be in full swing from the 24th- 31st October. castlemartyrresort.ie. At Fota Resort, they have a 1BB Fota Wildlife Park package for 2 + 1 from €251 where you will be right beside the cheetahs, tigers and now even rhinos. fotaisland.ie.
At Hayfield Manor in Cork, they have a 2BB1D family package from €680 with dinner for all on one evening in their Perrotts Garden Bistro. Little ones can enjoy Halloween treats including toffee apples, scary stories and pumpkin carving. hayfieldmanor.ie. With a massive beach, 'spooky movies' and 'cooking with chef' for kids, you can have a 2BB family package from €460 midweek, €520 at weekends, at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa. inchydoneyisland.com.
Moving further west to the Kingdom, at the Dingle Skellig Hotel, you can have 'Freaky Family Fun' with mask making, spooky face painting, and beastly baking with Spooky Chef John on their 2BB1D package from €180pps. dingleskellig.com.
A 'Spooktacular' Festival is taking place on Arthur's Quay in Limerick from the 23rd October-1st November with lots to do. The stylish Absolute Hotel have a great 'Winter is coming' offer at €63pps to include 1BB and a 3-course meal in their Absolute Bar & Grill. absolutehotel.com. The Limerick Strand Hotel also have a great 3 night family package from €165 per adult. strandlimerick.ie. Bunratty Castle Hotel have a 2BB1D for all the family from €149pps for 2 adults and 2 kids under 10 years old sharing family room. Family pass to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. bunrattycastlehotel.com. Out in beautiful Adare, at the Dunraven Arms Hotel, they have a midweek 2BB1D package from €120pps. Up to 2 children can share the room at €20 BB per night. dunravenhotel.com.
In Tipperary, the Horse & Jockey Hotel offer 2BB1D from €99pps with full use of the leisure facilities, plus 10pc resident discount on listed spa treatments. U'2s free, 2-12 years €20BB per child per night. Halloween Camp - 26th/30th October - ideal for 5-12 year olds. Exceptional cafe/bakery here with cakes by Jacqueline Lanigan Ryan. horseandjockeyhotel.com.
The Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway has a 2BB1D package from €279pps, including a fantastic Falconry Experience for 2 adults and 2 children under 10. There is a supplement of €30 per child over 10 years old and pre-booking is essential. glenloabbeyhotel.ie.
From 'Forest of Fear' to 'Dungeon of Doom' you can embark on a haunted Halloween holiday at Delphi Adventure Resort & Spa in Connemara. They have over 20 family friendly activities to choose from for kids of all ages and parents can also enjoy the spa. Stefan Matz, ex Ashford Castle, is the new executive chef here, so treat yourself to dinner at The Chef's Table. 3BB1D and a choice of two evening Halloween activities runs from €212pps. delphi.ie.
Also in Connemara, the stunning Ballynahinch Castle Hotel has a 2BB midweek family break from €440, in a superior room overlooking the eponymous river. On 450 acres of wooded grounds, the package includes a nature walk and duvet night with popcorn, juice and DVDs, for the kids in their room. ballynahinchcastle.com.
Up in Westport, at Knockranny House Hotel there is a 'great break for teachers' with 1BB1D from €159pps, to include 2 hours of pampering in their fab Spa Salveo. knockrannyhousehotel.ie. Also in Co. Mayo, the Ice House have a 2BB1D break in a luxurious river view room with a pre-dinner spookalicious cocktail from €506 per room for two people. icehousehotel.ie. At the beautiful Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa in Co. Roscommon, they have a super 1BBD rate from €109pps. kilronancastle.ie
In Yeats Country Hotel at Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, they've a Murder Mystery 'Dracula' themed 2BBD break on the 30th October from €145pps. yeatscountryhotel.com.
In Donegal, at the lovely Castle Grove Country House Hotel on the shores of Lough Swilly, they have two special offers. At €90pps you can enjoy 1BB1D and, in addition, on the 30th October they have a 7-course tasting menu, paired with fine wines on each course, and this, with bed and breakfast, costs €115pps. castlegrove.com.